It’s no secret that workplaces around the country are becoming more stressful.
Longer hours, less bonuses and chances for moving up the ladder, more competition, stagnant wages.
It seems like the American workforce is in an ever-increasing battle against itself. This makes for a very unstable dynamic, with very disenfranchised employees.
Numerous reports have been coming out over the past few years that highlight the increasing trend of workforce depression.
These include a piece on the pressures of the service industry, work-related stress and long hours for women (who are becoming much more likely to take on longer hours to meet the demands of single parenthood and a floundering economy), and the problem with increased automation and isolation in the workplace.
When you combine all of these factors, including the wildcard of increasing bills, student loan debt, medical debt, rising inflation, and fierce competition, you have the perfect breeding ground for worker depression.
How to Create a Healthy Space for Workers
Mental health is extremely important in the workplace. If you’re thinking about the mental health of your employees, there’s certain measures you should take to ensure that they don’t become another statistic.
With mental health issues on the rise and numerous issues cropping up all over the place that would be considered driving factors for impaired mental health, it’s important to educate yourself on these issues and combat them in your own work environment.
One such example is to simply breed a healthy, upbeat, positive work environment.
There is nothing worse than having to do difficult work under the pressure of management that doesen’t care or who would fire you on a whim for one slip up. To that end it’s also important to make sure that everyone is complying with company rules and that no one employee is infringing on the space or mental health of others.
Workplace harassment is a huge issue in this country, and contributes to impaired work output and mental health.
As an employer or CEO, it’s your job to make sure that you are creating a healthy space to do business in. This isn’t a widely discussed topic, but as mental health awareness becomes more mainstream, you’re going to want to take stock of it. To be sure, the tone of a work environment can be set or disrupted by the person or people in charge.
What kind of environment are you promoting in your business?
To put it another way, would you want to work for you? In the conditions and rules you set for your employees? If the answer is anything but a resounding “yes,” you might want to think about the policies of your company.
Encourage Breaks, Healthy Dieting, and Downtime
This specifically goes for the “work-a-holics.” It’s great to have an enthusiastic workforce or to have employees that can meet the demand you set for your business, but make sure that you are doing what you can to give them the space they need to be healthy.
This includes time for a decent lunch break, the ability to take small breaks if necessary throughout the workday, and no nonsense like “forced overtime,” which is actually a huge problem in the American business sector.
If your employees aren’t getting the right food and sleep, you can’t expect them to perform at their best and their mental health will also suffer. This is like a breeding ground for depression.
The bottom line is, you have the ability to shape the environment that your employees work in, and if you’re an employee yourself and you feel like you work in a toxic environment, speak up.
You have rights as a worker, and your mental health matters.